Risen 2 is an action role-playing game where players take control of the main character in a third-person perspective to explore the in-game world, complete quests and customize their character's abilities. While the physical appearance of the player character cannot be changed, other characteristics including clothing and skill sets can.
Throughout progression of the game, players can improve five key attributes, each with their own focus on different styles of gameplay. The "Blades" attribute determines proficiency and use of swords, daggers, throwing weapons and other slashing/thrusting weaponry while "Firearms" revolves on pistols, rifles and other gunpowder based weaponry. "Toughness" determines the level of which damage that can be taken from different attacks while "Cunning" focuses on stealth including sneaking, thievery and persuading other characters. The final attribute is "Voodoo" that revolves around the use of black magic and other rituals both lethal and non-lethal that can be utilized throughout play.